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With anguish o'er the lowly sleep
Of lover or of friend;—
But they to whom the sway
Of pain and grief is o'er,
Whose tears our God hath wiped away,
Oh, mourn for them no more 1
The sudden Coming on of Spring after long Rains. CARLos WIL.cox.
THE spring, made dreary by incessant rain, Was well nigh gone, and not a glimpse appeared Of vernal loveliness, but light-green turf Round the deep bubbling fountain in the vale, Or by the rivulet on the hill-side, near Its cultivated base, fronting the south, Where, in the first warm rays of March, it sprung Amid dissolving snow:—save these mere specks Of earliest verdure, with a few pale flowers, In other years bright blowing soon as earth Unveils her face, and a faint vermil tinge On clumps of maple of the softer kind, Was nothing visible to give to May, Though far advanced, an aspect more like her’s Than like November's universal gloom. All day, beneath the sheltering hovel, stood The drooping herd, or lingered near to ask The food of winter. A few lonely birds, Of those that in this northern clime remain Throughout the year, and in the dawn of spring, At pleasant noon, from their unknown retreat, Come suddenly to view with lively notes, Or those that soonest to this clime return From warmer regions, in thick groves were seen, But with their feathers ruffled, and despoiled Of all their glossy lustre, sitting mute, Or only skipping, with a single chirp, In quest of food. Whene'er the heavy clouds, That half way down the mountain side oft hung, As if o'erloaded with their watery store, Were parted, though with motion unobserved, Through their dark opening, white with snow appeared Its lowest, e'en its cultivated, peaks.
With sinking heart the husbandman surveyed
The melancholy scene, and much his fears
On famine dwelt; when, suddenly awaked
At the first glimpse of daylight, by the sound,
Long time unheard, of cheerful martins, near
His window, round their dwelling chirping quick,
With spirits by hope enlivened, up he sprung
To look abroad, and to his joy beheld
A sky without the remnant of a cloud.
From gloom to gayety and beauty bright
So rapid now the universal change,
The rude survey it with #. refined,
And e'en the thoughtless talk of thanks devout.
Long swoln in drenching rain, seeds, germs, and buds,
Start at the touch of vivifying beams.
Moved by their secret force, the vital lymph
Diffusive runs, and spreads o'er wood and field
A flood of verdure. Clothed, in one short week,
Is naked nature in her full attire.
On the first morn, light as an open plain
Is all the woodland, filled with sunbeams, poured
Through the bare tops, on yellow leaves below,
With strong reflection: on the last, 'tis dark
With full-grown foliage, shading all within.
In one short week, the orchard buds and blooms;
And now, when steeped in dew or gentle showers,
It yields the purest sweetness to the breeze,
Or all the tranquil atmosphere perfumes.
E’en from the juicy leaves, of sudden growth,
And the rank grass of steaming ground, the air,
Filled with a watery glimmering, receives
A grateful smell, exhaled by warming rays.
Each day are heard, and almost every hour,
New notes to swell the music of the groves.
And soon the latest of the feathered train
At evening twilight come;—the lonely snipe,
O'er marshy fields, high in the dusky air,
Invisible, but, with faint, tremulous tones,
Hovering or playing o'er the listener's head;—
And, in mid-air, the sportive night-hawk, seen
*lying awhile at random, uttering oft
A cheerful cry, attended with a shake
Of level pinions, dark, but, when upturned,
Against the brightness of the western sky,
One white plume showing in the midst of each,
Then far down diving with loud hollow sound;—
And, deep at first within the distant wood,
The whip-poor-will, her name her only song.
She, soon as children from the noisy sport
Of hooping, laughing, talking with all tones,
To hear the echoes of the empty barn,
Are by her voice diverted, and held mute,
Comes to the margin of the nearest grove;
And when the twilight, deepened into night,
Calls them within, close to the house she comes,
And on its dark side, haply on the step
Of unfrequented door, lighting unseen, -
Breaks into strains articulate and clear,
The closing sometimes quickened as in sport.
Now, animate throughout, from morn to eve
All harmony, activity, and joy,
. Is lovely Nature, as in her blest prime.
The robin to the garden, or green yard,
Close to the door repairs to build again
Within her wonted tree; and at her work
Seems doubly busy, for her past delay.
Along the surface of the winding stream,
Pursuing every turn, gay swallows skim;
Or round the borders of the spacious lawn
Fly in repeated circles, rising o'er
Hillock and fence, with motion serpentine,
Easy and light. One snatches from the ground
A downy feather, and then upward springs,
Followed by others, but oft drops it soon,
In playful mood, or from too slight a hold,
When all at once dart at the falling prize.
The flippant blackbird, with light yellow crown,
Hangs fluttering in the air, and chatters thick
Till É. breath fail, when, breaking off, she drops
On the next tree, and on its highest limb,
Or some tall flag, and, gently rocking, sits,
Her strain repeating.
ALL are born free, and all with equal rights.
So speaks the charter of a nation proud
Of her unequalled liberties and laws,
While, in that nation,-shameful to relate,
One man in five is born and dies a slave.
Is this my country? this that happy land,
The wonder and the envy of the world 2
O for a mantle to conceal her shame!
But why, when Patriotism cannot hide
The ruin which her guilt will surely bring
If unrepented 2 and unless the God
Who poured his plagues on Egypt till she let
The oppressed go free, and often pours his wrath,
In earthquakes and tornadoes, on the isles
Of western India, laying waste their fields,
Dashing their mercenary ships ashore,
Tossing the isles themselves like floating wrecks,
And burying towns alive in one wide grave,
No sooner ope’d but closed, let judgment pass
For once untasted till the general doom,
Can it go well with us while we retain
This cursed thing? Will not untimely frosts,
Devouring insects, drought, and wind and hail,
Destroy the fruits of ground long tilled in chains
Will not some daring spirit, born to thoughts
Above his beast-like state, find out the truth,
That Africans are men; and, catching fire
From Freedom’s altar raised before his eyes
With incense fuming sweet, in others light
A kindred flame in secret, till a train,
Kindled at once, deal death on every side 2
Cease then, Columbia, for thy safety cease,
And for thine honor, to proclaim the praise
Of thy fair shores of liberty and joy,
While thrice five hundred thousand wretched slaves,
In thine own bosom, start at every word
As meant to mock their woes, and shake their chains,
Thinking defiance which they dare not speak.
O THou, to whom, in ancient time,
The lyre of Hebrew bards was strung,
Whom kings adored in songs sublime,
And prophets praised with glowing tongue,